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Painter Survives 25-Foot Fall from Bridge

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

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A Wisconsin painter is recovering after falling 25 feet from a bridge where he had been working.

Paul S. Stevens, 41, of Green Bay, was released Tuesday from the hospital, where he had been treated for “numerous injuries” after the accident at 5:05 p.m. Monday, according to the Fond du Lac County Sheriff’s Office, which responded to the scene.

The nature of Stevens’ injuries was not disclosed, but he was reported in good condition before his release from the hospital.

Stevens is an employee of United Contracting Inc. (also known as United Painting), of Forest Junction, WI, which is working on lead paint removal and repainting of the U.S. Highway 41 Bridge in Fond du Lac.

The company did not respond Wednesday to requests for comment.

Ladder, Scaffolding Shift

According to the Sheriff’s Office, Stevens “was climbing a ladder between the suspended scaffolding hanging from the bridge and the bridge overpass. As he got to the top of the ladder, plywood on the scaffolding shifted and started to fall to the ground.”

“The ladder shifted and fell as well, and Stevens fell 12 feet, struck the scaffolding, and then fell another 13 feet to the ground, falling for a total distance of 25 feet,” the Sheriff’s Office said in a release.

No Safety Line Connection

Stevens was wearing a safety harness, but it was not connected to a safety line at the time, the release said. Officials believe Stevens was also wearing a safety helmet.

Stevens was taken by ambulance to a local hospital, then helicoptered to Theda Clark Medical Center.

The Sheriff’s Office and the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration are investigating the accident.

United Painting has a $326,830.20 contract to clean and recoat the structural steel on the bridge.

   

Tagged categories: Accidents; Bridges; Contractors; Health and safety; OSHA; Scaffolding

Comment from Tom Schwerdt, (6/30/2011, 10:46 AM)

Sounds like the ladder was not tied off.


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